LTE

Kindly permit me the space in your widely read newspaper to air my views on the outrageous activity which took place recently in a church.

Once upon a time in Trinidad and Tobago, it was standard practice for women entering churches to cover their heads. In my mind’s eye, pictures of women—their heads covered with mantillas, reflective of piety, contrived or otherwise—remain quite vivid. The church back then was a place of worship, and was accorded the respect which it deserved.

Fast forward to 2019, a “fashion show” is put on at the Holy Trinity Cathedral. While I am certainly no prude, the pictures in the public domain of the said “show” paint a very troubling picture. It is, to my mind, sacrilegious that women in varying stages of undress should be parading in such a hallowed institution.

So many questions arise. Could it be that those responsible for preserving the sanctity of that institution were unaware of what was set to occur? If indeed they were, it amounts a dereliction of their duty to ensure modesty and respect prevailed in that space.

Did the organisers of the offensive show fail to consider the lasting effects of said performance? To my mind, it is disrespectful in the extreme to even consider holding such a “show” in any place of worship.

The bishop, suitably chastened by this debacle, has issued an apology, in which he described the activity as “a blatant breach of the guidelines and a breach of trust, to the detriment of the church and its community”. That, to my mind, is too little too late. The “show” should have been stopped the moment the first “bumsee” was paraded.

An indelible blot has been cast upon the church’s copybook, which shall not be erased by an apology, however sincere that may be. The organisers should be roundly condemned for putting on such an immodest display in such a revered space. In ancient times, they might well have been tarred and feathered, or forced to wear sackcloth and ashes. Sadly, modernity precludes such forms of atonement. This irreverent display is a sad reflection of where we are as a society. Respect for cherished institutions is, sadly, on the wane.

That a model associated with the “show” could post on the Facebook page of the organisers “#getoverit” and the reported statement by a spokesperson for the organisers that “those expressing concern as to the welfare of the cathedral should also attend to the need for funding for repairs” speak very eloquently about where we are.

As is said in local parlance, they are wrong and strong.

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